Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403, March 10.
Feathers that cover birds are grouped in sets, both left and right side, and each of these sets fill a role.
While some feathers form the contours of the body; some, such as the flight feathers of the wing and tail,
carry out a function. The purpose of some feathers is to insulate, waterproof, and protect the body.
Feathers overlap each other like shingles on a roof. Imagine the forward motion of a bird flying or swimming and being protected from that force by the overlapping of feathers. Each feather and feather group is purposeful, structured, and arranged in an organized manner. Not one feather exits on a bird in a random manner. . . everything in nature is structured as the organized feather tracts on a supermarket chicken indicates.
Why is this important to the bird artist? Once the bird artist knows the basics of the skeleton and the sets of feathers inherent to all birds, each species' behavior can be observed and researched to perceive proportion, shape, behavior, and pose. The goal is to create art . . . not a specimen.
Below is a clarified and labeled drawing of a wild turkey in flight.
7"H 16"W 7"D
All sculpture and drawings - copyright Sandy Scott